Support the Tamil Family from Biloela
A huge community effort has shown support for Priya, Nades, Kopica and Tharunicaa, the Tamil family from Biloela.
The town have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise $1,000,000: https://www.gofundme.com/f/
The idea is that this could turn this family’s desperate situation into a “win-win” not just for Biloela, but for country towns across Australia.
If home affairs minister Peter Dutton can’t be stopped, the money will be used to try to keep this family safe from the terrible dangers Tamil people face in Sri Lanka – unfair imprisonment, torture and “disappearance”. And to keep fighting to get them home to Biloela, although the deportation orders would prevent this for up to three years, and slap a six-figure debt on the family to try to stop them. But if we can turn the government around and get the family back to Biloela, every last cent will go to charities working hard to support rural Australians doing it tough.
They have asked people to “please support our crowdfunding campaign”, but have said that even if you can’t donate, keep picking up the phone to call your MP.
Photos from a recent vigil to support the Tamil family at Wangaratta involving RAR groups from Mansfield, Wangaratta, Benalla, Beechworth and Harrietteville with Independent member for Indi Helen Haines.
Scott Morrison to reduce permanent migration cap to 160,000
This is a significant statement made by the Morrison Governement when their Migration Plan was released in March this year. The overall cap of visas in the permanent migration program is set to be lowered to 160,000 places each year, down from 190,000 from the previous year, with 23,000 regional visas for skilled migrants.
RAR is advocating that government reconsider this decision, based on the gap between the goal of the migration plan, and the reality. Earlier this month we saw the story of the refugee families who had to move out of Mingoola, three years after Mingoola residents welcomed the African families with open arms. Now the tiny town in Northern New South Wales has lost all of its newest members as they had to be closer to specialist medical services.
We strongly support regional migration, but it needs to be backed by serious support from the Government, if refugees are to successfully resettle in regional areas.
Status Resolution Support Services Campaign (SRSS)
Community Refugee Support Initiative Campaign (CRSI)
No Deportations to Danger Campaign
From the Edmund Rice Centre … There are 1,500 Afghan men, women and children in the community waiting for a decision from the Department of Home Affairs as to whether they will be granted refugee protection. But the Australian Government is saying it’s safe to send them back. Take action here
“Help us to get Priya, Nades and their two beautiful little girls out of detention and bring them home to Biloela, QLD. On behalf of Biloela – thank you!” Angela Fredericks
Mr Dutton, our town needs this family
Australian town rallies behind Lankans facing deportation
Why the government is determined to deport a Tamil family from Biloela
98,746 Signatures – Petition is delivered to Peter Dutton’s office – 18 May 2018
118,949 Signatures – Petition August 2018
- Sign the online petition to call on Qantas and other airlines not to let Dutton use their aircraft, pilots or crew to force them to danger:
- Sign the peititon don’t deport Priya, nades and children
- Sign the online petition Don’t deport Huyen – Stop separating families
And there is now a website – Home to Bilboela
Marie Sellstrom, RAR president, with Angela Fredericks in Biloela – August 2018
July 2019: Petition in response to the increased self harm and suicide attempts of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. Principal Petitioner is Shayne Davy, Central Coast Social Justice
- Print a copy of the petition and get as many people as possible to sign it (friends, family, work colleagues: put in in your meal room, clubs etc. Maybe others may like to participate as well, send them copies of the petition.
- Post originals of the petition , no later than July 30.
- NB – Shayne needs all original copies with signatures, no scanned or photocopies
- Post to : 845 Murrays Run Road, Murrays Run 2325
Any queries – email :
Points to make:
- We need leadership.
- Australia must take responsibility for the lives of people on Manus & Nauru
- We need you to evacuate the camps and bring people here to safety.
- People in offshore detention are in danger.
- The ongoing uncertainty and chaos are causing fear and harm.
- Our community wants people to be safe from harm.
- People around the country want a bipartisan approach to ending the political games.
- We need leadership and action, not more excuses.
- The lives of people in detention are Australia’s responsibility.
Letters to the editor
Write a Letter or email to the media. Seen an article in the paper or online that makes you angry or upset? Make sure you write, email or put comments in an online article and let them know your thoughts. Again, the more we can have an educated conversation in a public forum, the greater chance we have of raising awareness and bring about change.
This link is a comprehensive list of major media publishers that you have the potential to be published in. It may be useful to pitch an op-ed/Letter to the Editor to a few of these papers
(make sure you send the emails separately!) to increase your chance of being picked up.
Letters to MPs and Senators
One of the best ways to make a difference is to contact your local member or even the two leaders of our major political parties. The more people who write, the more our leaders realise that we do care about the closure and safe rehoming of our refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru. Letters to Politicians – Tips from Julian Burnside
Contact your Local Member, or go straight to the top. Senators and Members individually decide their preferred web based contact method. To contact your Senator or Member first find their home page using this link to a search tool. Their home page will contain their contact details and best method of contacting them.
- Edmund Rice Centre Petition – Stop deporting asylum seekers back to danger
- Another man has died on Manus Island. He’s the third person to die on Manus in a year. – Join the Call for a Senate Inquiry
- Want to start your own petition? Here are some helpful links Making Your Voice Heard, Sample Petition for the House of Reps , Brief Guide to Senate Petitions
- If you want to do something different to a petition, why not write an open letter to your local member of parliament or a politician with whom you wish to make a special point and collect signatures to this letter and post .
Face to Face Advocacy
The “Use Your Voice” kit is a Refugee Advocacy Kit that can be used by people who wish to engage face to face with members of parliament who will stand for election and those people who are candidates for the election.
The First Hike Project
To provide connection to their new country, “The First Hike Project” is taking groups of young refugees on a weekend hiking and camping exploration along the Bibbulmun Track. The Bibbulmun Track is a long distance walk trail in Western Australia. The name comes from the Bibbulmun, or Noongar people, Indigenous Australians from the Perth area.
Op Shop Fashion Parades
Ballarat RAR recently held an OP Shop Fashion Parade – watch it here
Could you organise something similar in your area?
Knowledge is Power
Read up on the latest news and study the most recent reports. The better we can educate ourselves about the issues, facts and latest developments around our refugees and asylum seekers, the better we will be able to have those dinner table conversations that make a real difference. It’s when we speak from the heart, armed with the facts and tell a personal, relateable story that we can usually effect the most change.